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Sergio Luis dos Santos 13th December 2005 16:17

Fw 58 book - I have a serious question on contents.
Hello all,

As some of you know me and Sandro Dinarte are researching the Weihe for a future book. We have obtained a lot of interesting material and now I have a question about how to place all in a single book.
Surely listings of W.Nr., Stkz, losses and techinical documents are very wellcomed but they use precious space and paper. When considering costs and today´s technology I´m going to suggest the following:

On the book itself we would print the Weihe history which includes its variants, all operators - military and civilian Luftwaffe and foreign - side views in color and/or black and white plus largest amount possible of photos since most of them are unpublished.

In a separate CD we could enclose all available listings, copies from technical documents and any other relevant material so the reader is free to print any of the contents he want or not. In this way we could save space in the book but not cut any item of interest.

I really would like to hear sincere opinions on this subject.
Thanks in advance,

O.Menu 13th December 2005 18:14

Re: Fw 58 book - I have a serious question on contents.
Looks absolutely perfect !

The listing and data on CD to save money but the photos and history on paper for pleasure :)

Stig Jarlevik 13th December 2005 18:27

Re: Fw 58 book - I have a serious question on contents.
I certainly agree Sergio with the previous speaker!

Of course there WILL be some English text as well, both in the book and CD??


John Beaman 13th December 2005 18:33

Re: Fw 58 book - a caution

I would think that including a CD will risk all your data, and hard work collecting it, being published for others for free w/o buying the remainder of the book, as well as putting it on the Net. The risk is not the same as with a published book because scanning takes time and effort. Are there ways to make a CD uncopyable?

Sergio Luis dos Santos 13th December 2005 19:21

Re: Fw 58 book - a caution

Originally Posted by John Beaman

I would think that including a CD will risk all your data, and hard work collecting it, being published for others for free w/o buying the remainder of the book, as well as putting it on the Net. The risk is not the same as with a published book because scanning takes time and effort. Are there ways to make a CD uncopyable?

John, I know this but actually as soon as a book is released you can find it entirely scaned for free download in one of that famous "" links... Even some sites are entirely built with scaned photos and data from books so I unfortunately do not believe there is a great difference... Any other way in printing them even in a separate booklet means paper and price increase.

For a "uncopyable" CD I really doubt it. Even DVDs and music CDs with copy protection are duplicated easily even in home...

Sergio Luis dos Santos 13th December 2005 19:23

Re: Fw 58 book - I have a serious question on contents.

Originally Posted by Stig Jarlevik
I certainly agree Sergio with the previous speaker!

Of course there WILL be some English text as well, both in the book and CD??


Surely the book will be bilingual as well as the information on listings like the one on P-47 soon to be released.

robert_schulte 14th December 2005 18:38

Re: Fw 58 book - I have a serious question on contents.
Bom dia Sergio :)

Being more interested in the plane itself and not in W.Nr. or Stkz. this proposal would be just the thing that I want. The book for "fun" and the CD for research, this would also keep the price lower.
Any plans, when the book will be available?

Best wishes

Rabe Anton 14th December 2005 19:50

Re: Fw 58 book - I have a serious question on contents.

I am quite surprised by some of the replies to your posting but probably should not be. In any event, I would offer you a set of very different thoughts and values on the business of a book accompanied by a CD full of data. You may not agree with or like these observations, but they are in no way intended personally, rather, as some considerations from a very different perspective.

(1) Speaking purely from the philosophical and professional standpoint, your job as author of a work on the Fw 58 (or any other subject) is to round up the available evidence, evaluate it, then to make judgments and synthesize the data into a comprehensible story. In this process, you must make some judgments about what pure data is worth publishing in any form and what is not. In other words, every technical or factory drawing, every marking anomaly, all the minutae of color schemes may not be worth putting into your end product. History, even an aircraft history, is much, much more than a vast collection of facts and visual images.

(2) There simply is not enough important data about the Fw 58 to justify anything beyond a nice sizeable printed volume. And that volume could include (a) list of Werknummern blocks, manufacturers, and acceptance dates (b) a list of SKZ (c) perhaps a list of units and schools using the aircraft without becoming too big or too expensive. Such raw, tabular data is traditionally put into appendices, and for good reasons.

(3) If you doubt my comment in No. 2, simply take a look at the very fine treatment of the Fw 58 found in Luftfahrt Nr. 1 dating to somewhere around the early 1970s. This article/booklet has a design history, a description of subtypes, a comprehensive set of technical drawings and quite extensive production and subtype information, all in less than 100 pages! Even adding in much new information that you've doubtless found, it's hard to see the desirability of doing more than, say, doubling the size of the presentation in Luftfahrt Nr. 1.

(4) In a very different vein, the creation of a printed volume accompanied by a CD has at least two very pointed, practical drawbacks. First, inevitably, some CDs are going to get separated from their printed volumes ("lost," absolutely lost or lost for all practical purposes). Second, there is the generally ignored and unacknowledged fact that computer technology is going to make your CD obsolete and very likely unreadable in a few years. Techno-barbarians don't like to think about this or bald-facedly deny it, but it's a fact. CDs depend on certain hard- and software to read, plus operator knowledge. "Progress" is inevitably going to kill the readability of a CD simply by its nature. Tangible example: Can you read one of those old 5 1/2 in. floppy discs from the early days of PCs? I'll bet not. Sooner or later the same thing is going to happen to your CD. My guess is that it'll take 10 or 12 years. What then? Do you really want so much of your hard work (and the purchaser's money) going down the tubes in a decade or two?

Before getting off, I would like to add that a good history of the Fw 58 is a fine idea. It was an important and historically significant airplane, used for many tasks, in most of which it apparently performed well. If and when your book comes to fruition, I'll certainly be in line to have a copy. So I wish you all the best.


Sergio Luis dos Santos 15th December 2005 14:46

Re: Fw 58 book - I have a serious question on contents.
Hi Rabe,

Thanks for the chace to explain in depth our work. At first must excuse myself in not being too good in English language so must excuse me for strange words or sentences. It´s also worth mention I do not know anything of German language and it may be a bad point since I must ask translations for English or Portuguese from the sources I got. Anyway it not make me a not reliable author since some well know authors even on Luftwaffe do not know German as well. I know and have contact with recognized authors that writes about Brazilian aviation and do not speak Portuguese as well.

1 ) This book is not only for the aviation buff but covers all areas of interest and it includes modelling. I believe any interesting fact is worth publishing. You suggest synthetizing the data we found but if we have a good chance to publish all available data from a single plane why not do this? I have seen some comments on the just released Jg300 book about some facts that were left and surely paper space had a key point on this. There are books that publishes extensive loss and victory lists like Prien´s ones so how many pages he have used to publish them? Now lets imagine he could place all those listings in a CD and save paper and costs to print photos and the main text. When a reader, modeller or not can count with a large amount of data he can extend this research when comparing photos not only in books but also being sold (as on eBay as example) and try identify the machine or add a new one from an unknow photo or a Flugbuch. Right now I have 3 large listings containing Stkz, W.Nr. and loss data, one has 360 entryes by Stkz, a second one has 17 pages with hundreds of entryes and the third one with loss data has 49 pages!! I also have a fourth one that comes printed not in digital format. Now I must cross check all data from the 4 listings and produce at last two ones, by W.Nr. and by Stkz. It barely covers the planes with operational codes, mainly the ones with the Stkz. The final work must still have several pages and its growing since I could find other unlisted planes by contact with pilots and their family and from recent aucitons of FBs.

3 ) Not enough data on the Fw 58? Well the Weihe not only performed as a training, rescue and transport machine. How about the ones as passanger transport? Aerial photography? Night-Fighters? Wheather? Maritime Patrol? Spraying duties? “Zerstörer”? There are a multitude of uses that were barely covered not only in Luftfahrt International but also in other books and magazines. Most of them were published in Germany and are beyond majority of readers. Why not place all know variants and uses in a single work?

3) Yes, Luftfahrt did a coverage from Fw 58 in less than 100 pages.Luftfahrt International number 1 covered the Weihe with 44 pages, number 2 with 42 and number 18 more 13 respectively. On number 1 they publish a listing by model that covers 74 aircrafts. There is also a technical documentation, Beschreibung, with 26 pages. I´m close to get in a few days at last 90 pages (copies) from technical data of various machines (ex. Ambulance, Aerial recon, etc…)
The text is valuable but so condensed that the reader can´t find a complete data from the foreing machines. Where the Austrian and Swedish machines flew? What happened to them during the war? Can someone find good photos of the Gebauer machine gun on B stand and Ikaria ball turred on A stand? Are there photos of the camera installation on the Swedish machines? How about a solid nose with 4 machine guns on Russian front? Where to find several photos of those nice looking overall white machines with red crosses? Lufthansa had 5 Weihe as passanger transport. What happened to them?
Those magazines and other books do not covers in extend the Weihes in foreign service. We have collected an incredible amount of photos wich includes the Argentinean, Slovakian (in civilian use, not military unfortunately), Danish, Hungarian, Polish, Romainan, Swedish and Brazilian machines among others (No! Spain never had Weihes!)
There are still some gaps that maybe we will not fill. We will print the photos we got authorization but may use others ones just for the color profiles (in this case we will mention the book, magazine, archive or museum where the photo can be find). Another nice book on the Weihe is the one published by Archiv Karl R. Pawlas this one is a photographic book, great photos but very few data.

4) May I not use a CD if in 10 or 12 years the technology will be changed? May I stop buying music CDs or movie DVDs because they can be outdated in a couple of years? I even can´t say I´ll live to see this happens! Surelly anyone getting the data on a CD will download it to his PC for easy access so he can up-date his archives when necessary. When I wrote my first book it was done in a very crude PC (around the first ones released in Brasil but it belonged to a friend, too expensive and I had no money to buy one). All text was recorded on 5 ½ floppy discs. Years latter, when my book was dropped due Flugzeug Publikations being sold, I rescued all my data here in my job. We installed a 5 ½ drive in a machine and using a converting program all text was extracted, reformated and recorded on 3,5 discs. Actually my archives are not only in the hard disc but also in copies on CDs. Change of technology can´t be stoped so anyone using it my update his softwares and hardwares. The only way the CD be lost from the book is a bad packaging. For this the book must be sealed and the CD placed in the cover. So anyone can see the CD is there and no excuses for books being returned due “missing” CDs after the plastic seal being opened.

As you told in the final paraghaph, “it was an important and historically significant airplane used for many tasks” (what conflicts with the opening of item 2 in my view). There is no better way to show this than a book with hundred of photos, some nice color views and a large amount of data, all this available for a broad extend of readers, researchers, historians, aviation fans or modellers.

Are there some gaps? Yes and I know well that some information will never surface or are available in places I can´t go. I live in Brasil and it´s very different living in Europe and just getting a comfortable train at morning, do a research in another country and returning at noon… Without the kindly gesture of several researchers I could never go ahead in this project so what started as a simple walk-around booklet from the Brazilian Weihe is becoming a large work.
It´s not and never will be a “definitive” book or a “bible” on this plane but we will do our best for a great coverage with many surprises.

I appreciate your construtive comments so I can discuss my work and made any valuable change in the manuscript and book contents.

Many thanks!

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